Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The ship anchored at Monaco and Priscilla and I took the tour to Nice. It was a beautiful coastal drive. We walked along a boardwalk next to the Mediterranean. We then had an hour of free time before boarding a small street train that took us up a hill for a breathtaking view. On the way back to Monte Carlo we drove through the town of Eze. Monte Carlo was setting up for the Grand Prix race.

Friday, May 4, 2012

We had a great time in Lucca, Italy today. It was a half-day tour with about an hour of free time. Lucca is a beautiful walled city in Tuscany. We had time for Cappuccinos but didn’t order the cake our guide recommended which was made with vegetables and cinnamon. Today we celebrated Seldon’s birthday. Our waiter brought a cake and we all sang. Tomorrow we tender (don’t dock at port but put down anchor and get shuttled in on the tender boats) into Monte Carlo, Monaco. Our half-day excursion is to Nice, France. I’m really looking forward to seeing Nice.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Trevi Fountain.
The Spanish Steps.
We had a wonderful day in Rome, on our own. We took a bus to St. Peter’s Square and then took a taxi to the Jewish Synagogue and Museum. It is a beautiful building. We had a tour and then walked around the museum. We then walked around the area. I always wanted to see the Spanish Steps, so we took another taxi to get there. Flowers were all over the place. We then walked to the Trevi Fountain and had some gelato for lunch. Nutritious. We didn’t have any small coins with us, so we didn’t throw our $2 euro into the fountain. Walked around the shops there and then took a taxi back to St. Peter’s Square where we did some more shopping before taking the bus back to the ship. The weather was fabulous but it was very crowded and the traffic was horrible. Tomorrow we’re going to the Tuscany town of Lucca. Jim & I had been there before and liked it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

This was lunch today at the International Cafe, ham and cheese croissant and a cafe mocha. Wonderful!
We saw this acrobat from Russia today. He was very good.
Another quiet day with formal night tonight. We made some new friends at trivia, Don and Suzanne McNair from Nova Scotia, Canada. Don has written a children’s book and I was able to put it on my laptop. Priscilla had her photo taken with “Pink Tink” and Allison Lefcort tonight. We are travelling between Corsica and Sardinia on our way to the port of Civitavecchia. Tomorrow we’re in Rome
Having left Madeira we’re heading towards Rome. At about 7:30 a.m. we went through the Straits of Gibraltar. I set a wakeup call, took this picture and went back to bed. During the day we did the usual, eating, trivia, and art auction. After evening trivia I went to the Movies under the Stars and watched the newest Mission Impossible movie. They do give out blankets but I was still cold. One of the highlights was seeing a falling star.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Another uneventful day at sea, eating and trivia. The highlight was when Priscilla bought an Allison Lefcort print called "Pink Tink". This is a headshot pop art print of Tinkerbell (black, white and grey) with a pink background. I’m more excited by the fact that she will have her photo taken with the piece of art and Allison Lefcort, who will then autograph that photo. Pretty cool. Tonight we played a Mystery game show where the staff acted out a mystery and we had to figure out whodunit. We didn’t have a clue but laughed a lot as usual. Tomorrow morning at about 7:30 a.m. we are scheduled to go through the Straits of Gibraltar. I don’t think we’ll be up. Here's another picture of Madeira

Sunday, April 29, 2012

We finally arrived in Funchal, Madeira. I had booked an excursion to do the Cable Car, Toboggan ride, and wine tasting at the Madeira Wine Lodge. The Kates’ took a bus excursion around the entire island, and Priscilla went into town on her own. The Cable Car ride was enjoyable and then we had some free time in the City of Monte. The toboggan ride was exhilarating and everyone knows I do enjoy wine tasting. Now we’re back onboard and it will take us three days to go across the Mediterranean to the port for Rome (Civitavecchia). The movie War Horse is on the TV in our stateroom. Here’s a photo of me and a gentleman named, Peter, from Maryland, getting ready to go down the hill on our toboggan.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 6 Priscilla and I attended the Luncheon today for the 40 most traveled passengers. The Menu was appetizer: A Symphony of Seasonal “Fruit de Mer;” main dish choices of Seared Fillet of Corvina with Citrus Beurre Blanc of Duet of Lamb and Beef Tenderloin served with Truffle flavor thyme sauce with a collage of fresh garden vegetables pomme fondant. We had the beef and lamb. The Finale was andrzej rendezvous of flavors, colors and taste sensations. It was wonderful. Guenther Kopf, Hotel Manager, was the host at our table. Played trivia and know the lyrics game show. I also went to the art gallery to see how much further Alli Lefcort had gotten on the painting. (see picture). I think they said the opening bid will be over $7,000. Tomorrow Madeira. Land, woohoo.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The days keep slipping by. The usual schedule for me is breakfast, morning trivia, lunch, art auction or café mocha in the Piazza, afternoon trivia, dinner, show, more trivia. Almost every night we’ve had to set the clocks ahead an hour so this morning we really slept in and missed morning trivia. This afternoon we had the opportunity to watch Allison Lefcort paint. She is such a talent. Google her name for more information. Here are 2 pictures of what she completed in a little over an hour. I bought Weston a shirt and hat.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nothing really new to write. We’re still playing trivia 3 times a day and having a lot of laughs. Tonight Priscilla and I watched “The Artist” on the Movies Under the Stars (outside) and we were under about 3 blankets each. It started to sprinkle and we moved for cover. The movie was great even the second time. Tonight’s entertainment in the theater was a magician, David Cats. Very good. Last night’s entertainment was a singer, Pamala Stanley. Hope all is going well with our friends and family.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

We had another wonderful day. We went to a reception for The Princess of Pop Art, Allison Lefcort. We won trivia twice today and came in second on a third. We were moved to the Botticelli Dining Room and have two lady tablemates, Marilyn and Bernice. They were as happy to see us as we were to be there. I had Banana Foster for dessert. I received an invitation to the 40 most travelled passenger luncheon on Thursday. I can’t wait. We’re slowly moving across the Atlantic. Can Madeira be far away.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Slept in and then continued our eating spree. After breakfast, went shopping and then to the coffee shop for a quick Mocha and Hot Chocolate. We were then entertained in the Piazza by Russian ballroom dancers. I took a picture of Priscilla with them. We went to the Solo travelers Meet for Afternoon Tea. I sat next to Jeraldine Saunders who gave us a sheet about a new book that was just coming out today about her. It’s called the Love Boat Lady. She was Julie McCoy on the Love Boat for real, many years ago. We lost at 2 trivia’s and Jeopardy today but we’re having fun. The show tonight was Vocalist Claude Eric. Tomorrow is formal night.

Embarkation Transatlantic 2012

Having so much fun almost forgot to write this blog. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale without any incidents, walked right up to the counter and were ushered onboard. Our fixed (traditional) dining was in the “Anytime” dining room and it is for a table of 4. We’re trying to get that changed. We lost at trivia 3 times. More fun tomorrow.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Transatlantic Cruise 2012

I'm getting ready to leave on a 14 day Transatlantic Cruise, stopping at the island of Madeira (Portugal); Rome, Italy; Lucca, Italy; Monte Carlo, Monaco but I'm taking an excursion to Nice, France; and finally getting off at Barcelona, Spain (off the ship and straight to the airport). Our flight goes from Barcelona to Munich, Germany to Dulles/Washington, D.C. and then back to Orlando. We leave Barcelona at noon and arrive in Orlando a little after midnight. I'm traveling with great friends, Seldon and Sheila Kates and my roommate, Priscilla Reisinger. I'm so excited and can't wait to get started. Bon voyage.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sept. 22 – Greenland

Arriving at Greenland and the first thing you see is an iceberg and a pretty small town. This is our only tender port. Diane and Maria decided to stay onboard and so Dan, Eileen, Priscilla and I went into town. Priscilla and I headed to the store and after acquiring the hat and lapel pin I wanted, proceeded to wait in line 45 minutes to pay for it. When will I get here again, I kept saying. The store was so crowded and hot but we both managed to survive it. We then roamed around the small town. It reminded me of the small towns in Alaska. The local children performed native dances and played music. I did get some video. The weather was sunny but cool. A couple of hours in town was all we needed and then back on the tender to the ship. I think it was almost lunchtime and dare we miss a meal. I must admit I have been enjoying the food. Besides getting three meals a day, I do try and get to having one scone at tea time (3:30 p.m.) Ran all around the ship in the afternoon to get some shots of the icebergs and the town. Haven’t seen the Northern Lights. I would hope the Captain would make an announcement if they were visible.

Sept. 20-21 At Sea

Two days at sea and then we should arrive in Greenland. Nothing much to report. No sighting of whales. Losing at trivia continues but usually only by one (we have to learn not to change answers because we always change them from the correct answer to an incorrect one) but Diane keeps winning at the morning TV show “the Wake Show” done by the Cruise Director. I keep submitting the answers to the questions on 2 sheets with my name on one and Diane’s on the other and so far Diane has won 4 times and my record is still 0. Now, we’ll have to go and have a dessert from Sabatini’s. Can’t wait for that.

Sept. 19th Iceland

We all took the City Drive, the Pearl and Blue Lagoon tour. The City tour was nice and then we arrived at the Pearl, which offered stunning views from the fourth-floor observation deck for a 360* view of the city. After taking all the pictures we wanted, we headed to the Blue Lagoon. Many passengers had taken the tour to swim in the lagoon, a geothermal spa, but our tour only observed them in the water. So, here half of the people are in coats and hats and the other half are in bathing suits. I took quite a lot of comical pictures of this contrast. Since I may never get back to this location, I was sure to buy a lapel pin for my collection and a magnet. Another drive back through the city and onto the ship. It rained all around us and I was able to capture many rainbows on this trip, while not getting wet. A few passengers have stated that they have seen whales, I have not been that fortunate. More fun onboard with trivia and good shows.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sept 18th At Sea

I think I’m driving my travelling companions a little crazy because I’m on the go from morning to night. They seem content to sit and read on their Kindle. I’ve been going to morning trivia, afternoon trivia and sometimes evening trivia. One night we played Family Feud and won. I’ve also been going to the art auctions and afternoon tea, not to mention the evening entertainment. I’m coming down with a cold, bummer. Last night Diane and I attended the cocktail party for the Forty Most Travelled Passengers. I prefer the luncheons but the party was nice. It seems I finally passed the bubble and am getting invited to these parties on a regular basis. Tomorrow we arrive in Reykjavik at noon. Hope all is going well at home, as it is here.

Sept 17th Belfast

This was the day I was waiting for, the Giant’s Causeway. Up early and on the bus by 7:30 a.m. We immediately stopped for scones and tea in a beautiful small village. The countryside is green and beautiful. We were going down the Antrim Coast. We then went to Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge for a photo. The bridge itself was pretty far away from where we were stopped but I took a photo. Next stop, Dunluce Castle for a photo stop. It was funny that we were there for 20 minutes but we couldn’t go in the castle without paying 4 pounds. After what we spent for this excursion it was ridiculous that they didn’t include getting us into this castle. Lunch was at the Royal Court Hotel, beef, mashed and boiled potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and meringue dessert. This was topped off by a glass of Guinness. Finally we were off to the Giant’s Causeway, which are 40,000 polygonal columns of layered basalt. There were some spots where I wasn’t sure how to go forward because the rocks were on the edge of a sheer drop of a pretty high step for me. I was very careful, not wanting to fall and spend the rest of my vacation in a hospital in Northern Ireland. Local legend tells how it was actually the Giant Finn MacCool who created the Giant’s Causeway to challenge his Scottish rival Benandonner. Hope some of pictures turned out.

Sept 16th Dublin

When we arrived it was overcast. We didn’t buy an excursion so we took the shuttle into town. Diane wasn’t feeling well and immediately went back to the ship. Marie, Priscilla and I went shopping near Trinity College. After about an hour it started to rain and Marie and Priscilla went back to the ship. I headed off to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which I was told was a 15 min. walk. By the time I arrived it had stopped raining. I was disappointed that you need 5 euro to get inside. It wasn’t that important since Jim & I had been there, so I took some photos and then walked back and went to the shopping mall. The shopping mall had beautiful architecture. We had to be onboard by 3:15 p.m., so we didn’t have long in Dublin. I found the people to be very friendly. All you had to do was open a map and someone was there offering to assist.

Sept 15th Edinburgh

I had a wonderful tour. We went to the Edinburgh Castle. Saw Scotland’s crown jewels. While I was walking around there was a camera crew taking photos of 2 guys. One had a U.S. Olympics jacket on. I asked who they were and was told, Brian Clay and Jeremy Campbell. I haven’t wanted to use my computer time to look them up but will when I get home. We were then taken to the St. James Hotel for lunch. Then we had free time for shopping. I couldn’t find anything to buy. A complete enjoyable day. I’m still struggling with trivia. The evening show was a production number, “What a Swell Party.”
P.S. Brian Clay is the reigning Olympic champion for the decathlon and Jeremy Campbell is a Paralympic. He competed at the 2008 Summer Paralympics where he won a gold medal and set a world record in the men's Pentathlon.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September 14, 1911

Just wanted to post a small note. I did nothing much today, played trivia, attended the Cruise Critic get-together, attended the art auction, Pub lunch, champagne waterfall and the production show. Tomorrow I’m off to the Edinburgh Castle. I need to meet my group by 7:15 a.m. and am expected back on-board by 5:15 p.m. The sun finally came out today. I forgot to bring my cable to download the pictures on the camera, but the Internet Café staff said he would help me. That is why I haven’t been posting any pictures. Hopefully I can do that tomorrow night. All is well.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

At Sea 9/13/11

Rough waters all night. Winds at 58 mph and swells at 25 ft. Everyone is walking like drunken sailors. Hate having to take a shower holding onto the railing. We’re all having a good time. I lost at both trivia’s today and at the 50’s Music trivia. Watched the 3x World Hula Hoop Record Holder in the Piazza. Photos to follow. Went to the comedian and laughed a lot. Did my usual, eat, trivia, eat, afternoon tea, trivia and then eat again. I was told today that I will be invited to the 40 most travelled passenger’s cocktail party. Woohoo. Another day at sea tomorrow. The weather is due to improve. Can’t wait to get to land.

Oslo 9/12/11

Up at 7:45 a.m. to meet everyone for breakfast. I’m not going on an excursion in Oslo as we did an excursion when we were here for the Baltic cruise and saw the highlights. They made an announcement “Over the next 48 hours the wind and seas are expected to worsen as a result of post tropical depression Katia.” We will leave earlier from Oslo, cancel the stop in Kristiansand and go directly to Greenock (Glasgow/Edinburgh) on Wednesday. I walked to the Akerhus Castle, then window shopping on Karl Johansgate road. There were many parks and beautiful fountains. I brought my raincoat (with lining) but the weather was overcast and I carried my coat. I walked to the Royal Palace and saw the Changing of the Guard. As I was walking on the side of the Palace I was approaching a man with a Yankee’s cap on (I thought, Great, An American) and asked him was there anything back there worth seeing. He said with a British accent, the back of the Palace. He then proceeded to show me his picture of the doors on the back of the Palace. I then went and took a picture also. I got back to the ship just in time before it started raining. The prices in Norway are still very high. Their prices are 5 times ours literally. I was looking at anything that was 50 kroner, which would be $10.00. The only thing I could find was a magnet or key chain for $9.00, which I don’t need. Lost at trivia. My team had 14/20 and the winners had 15/20. Dinner was good. The evening show was a guy who billed himself as a Mind Magician (read peoples minds) and a very good singer.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Orlando to Copenhagen 9/10-11/11

Got picked up at the house at 6:45 a.m. Almost forgot my coat, which would have been a disaster. We had a great drive to the airport. Thank goodness we left early because we had long lines. The other ladies used wheelchairs which did get us all through security quickly. Had my Starbucks and we were off to Boston. Since I did my usual and went to bed at 2 a.m., I did sleep some on the flight. I had some tea and some chips. I was surprised when we got to Boston that we had to go through security again. Two hour layover in Boston. The overhead compartments and under the seats on Icelandair seemed smaller. After backing away from the gate we stopped. The Captain stated that while we were backing up we broke a light and needed to return to the gate and have it checked. All I could think was that were going to be late leaving and would miss our connecting flight. But it wasn’t long (1/2 hour) and we took off. I had some tea, did not purchase any food but ate the peanut butter crackers that I brought. Watched some TV and got more sleep. The Captain made up some time and we arrived in Reykjavik at midnight. We had an hour until our next flight. Had a cup of tea and didn’t purchase any food. I think I slept the most on the last flight partially due that my in-flight entertainment screen didn’t work. We arrived in Copenhagen on time at 6:00 a.m. We were whisked off to the terminal where we sat until noon. They provided tea and coffee. So, more tea. I couldn’t get to the buffet fast enough. We’re having a great time. After dinner the ladies went to bed early and I went to play trivia, where we won a lanyard. I then went to the Welcome Aboard Show. Finally off to bed at 10:30 p.m.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cruising from Copenhagen to Fort Lauderdale

I hope I can figure how to post to this blog. Leaving Saturday for Copenhagen to get on the Emerald Princess. I have butterflys in my stomach. Trying to remember everything. Believe me, two heads are better than one. I hope I don't forget anything important. I think I'm ready to test drive this blog. Hopefully, more posts to come.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bargains, Bargains, Bargains

Although we had not thought of booking a transatlantic this spring, lo and behold an email arrives from Princess and the price was too good to pass up. Princess informed us of a special price of $699 for a 16 day transatlantic cruise that leaves on April 19th. The cruise leaves Ft Lauderdale, with stops in Madeira, Rome, Livorno, Genoa, Sardinia, Gibraltar and Monte Carlo before arriving in Barcelona. The flight back from Barcelona was actually as much as the cruise, but even with the flight it is less than $100 per day which is kind of our guideline. As always we are excited about it and now before we have recovered from the Amazon, we will be off again. California next week and then getting ready for the cruise, are we ever home?

Friday, March 19, 2010

A day at Epcot

The annual Spring Flower and Garden Festival is going on at Epcot in Orlando. Because we are Florida residents we are able to purchase a reasonable annual pass to all of Disney World Parks in Florida. The annual pass is great for people like us who love visiting all the parks.

The spring flower and garden festival brings colors and topiaries to all of Epcot and some of them are truly outstanding.

We arrived about noon and went to guest services and made reservations at the French Restaurant, one of our favorites. for 1:30. We walked around in amazement as we admired the wonderful topiaries of most of the Disney characters.

For lunch we also have their fixe price menu which includes French onion soup, a wonderful sandwich and a great dessert, and as usual it was great.

We were surprised at how busy the park was, with half the people being kids and college students, but we finally realized that it was spring break time. Again it was a wonderful day and as always we look forward to our next visit.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Summary of Amazon 2010

Now that we are home, and looking back on our Amazon trip, several things stood out about the trip. First, we love the Royal Princess and small ship cruising. We loved not waiting in line for anything, getting up close and personal with the cruise staff and sitting with Captain Ivan Jerman at the Captains lunch. Our entertainment on board was excellent, but as always, a magician who does the same tricks. We got to know most of the dancers quite well, our favorite being Natasha the dance captain from Sydney, Australia. We were again fortunate with good table mates and outstanding trivia partners.
Perhaps the highlight of the trip was an idea that Judy came up with before we left. We had been on basically this same trip three years ago and as always we had taken a ton of pictures and we were again going back to the village of Boca Da Valaria. Boca is a small village of about 75-100 people that live along the Amazon in very small houses on stilts to stay above the rising water of the Amazon. Before we left we printed up about 30 of the pictures that we had taken of families and kids in this village. When we stopped there this time we went back to the same houses and gave them to the families and of course to the kids we could find. They were all thrilled. And again while we were there we took more pictures, had them printed up on the ship and took them back to the village again on our way home. Again, we got the same reaction, they loved them, especially the two girls that posed for Judy.
Another highlight, THIS TIME I CAUGHT A PIRANAH!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Brazil Requirements

I just wanted to jot down a few things about visiting Brazil.  First you need a visa.  You can get a visa by using a surrogate company, these are people that you pay to travel to a Brazilian embassy and get the visa for you.  These are typically expensive ($300 or more) and take time.  Brazil sets up their fees to match what the country of residence charges Brazilian citizens, which in the case of the United States is $100.  We personally visited the Brazilian Embassy in Miami, dropped our passports off one day, and were able to pick up our visa and passports the next morning, total coast $100 each.  The visa is good for five years.  Another requirement for visiting Brazil is a yellow fever shot.  This can be gotten from your local doctor or in our case from the Dept of Health.  This shot is good for ten years.   If you are on a cruise ship that stops in Brazil and have failed to get the visa, they will not let you onboard.  The yellow fever shot can normally be gotten onboard, but should not be counted on.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Our Next Cruise

Well, we have booked our next cruise, partly because of the great deal and partly because we loved it the first time we were there.
We have booked a 28 day round trip cruise a thousand miles up the Amazon on the Royal Princess. This will be our first time on a small Princess ship. The Royal Princess holds about 675 people. We have booked an outside cabin for the first time in a long time, because the rate was the same as an inside. We did find out just how good being a past passenger of Princess gets you great rates. A friend indicated an interest to go on the same cruise with us, when they tried to book the same as we did, it was fifty percent higher and because of that decided not to go. When we get closer to our departure date of January 30th, we will start a separate blog for the trip.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Home again

Thinking back at twenty days aboard the Ruby Princess made us just want to stay on. The two new ports of Bonair and Antigua were nice for us and we enjoyed ourselves at both of them. The Ruby Princess is a beautiful ship with exciting new production shows. We especially enjoyed "Once Upon A Dream" that was a multi-media presentation. As usual the food was excellent, of course always liking some dishes more than others. We love the International cafe on Deck 5 with its bakery and coffee shop and street entertainers. As always we met wonderful people. Our experience on the Cruise Connection (the bus that took us to and from the port) was great going down, but because of a bad driver that had to be replaced on the way back that delayed us for almost three hours was not so good. Better safe than sorry. We will probably take the bus again if it is merited. Our next cruise, not booked yet, but will surely book one soon. We are looking at doing the Amazon again and then the Greek Isles for the second time.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Ruby Princess

We are currently on the second leg of our twenty day back to back cruise. We are having a wonderful time and really enjoying the Ruby Princess. We have not been on the Ruby Princess in the past but had been on its sister ship, the Emerald Princess. We have been amazed at the quality of the production shows on this Ship. We were told that they were exclusive to the Ruby and we are loving them. We have had three new shows that we have not seen before and at least two of them are the best we have ever seen on a cruise. One show that is really good is a production show called "Once Upon A Dream" which is a multimedia and visual presentation to top anything we have seen on cruise ships with outstanding dancing and singing and visual delights. Also when we departed from Ft Lauderdale, we seen the new Royal Caribbean ship, the Oasis of the Seas which is so huge it dwarfs everything else on the docks. It holds 6000 passengers, and even though we would probably like to try it, just to see it, too many people for me.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Getting Ready to go

Well, we are getting ready to leave on Saturday Nov 14 to catch the Ruby Princess in Ft Lauderdale for twenty days in the Caribbean. This is the first time that we will be taking a bus called "The Cruise Connection" from Leesburg to Port Everglades. It was recommended by our travel agent and is priced well at 65 dollars per person round trip. We will try and post from each port and post some pictures as well.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our Next Cruise

Well, we are no sooner home from the Panama Canal and now we have booked to back to back Caribbean cruises on the Ruby Princess. The two ten day back to back cruises will get us to Bonaire and Antigua, two islands in the Caribbean that we have not visited. Even though the one on Nov 14 was wait listed we got on the list and it became available the following day. The prices are still really good this fall and is another reason we booked these cruises. This will be our first time on the Ruby Princess and we are looking forward to our time on it. It turns out that our neighbors have booked the same cruise on our second leg and it will be nice to see them on-board, especially since we found out they are trivia players as well.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Panama Canal on the Island Princess

We just returned from our second trip through the Panama Canal and what a treat it was. It was our first cruise on the Island Princess and it didn't disappoint. The ship was designed to go through the Canal so it is a little longer and a little narrower than some of the larger ships, but its passenger space is extremely good. It has two large showrooms, and the normal run of bars and lounges. Now for a real deal, after returning home we got a brochure from Princess that that showed an inside cabin from Los Angeles to Ft Lauderdale for fifteen days for only $699. We are almost tempted to do it again because we love ship life. I checked the Princess site today, signed in and seen that we have sailed with Princess 348 days, our next cruise will put us over a year. We are looking at doing two ten day back to back cruises in the southern Caribbean in November. We are also looking at a Greek Isles and transatlantic again in the spring.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A week in Orlando

Before we leave for the west coast and our next cruise, we are spending a week at a timeshare in Orlando. I know it sounds silly but it was a use it or loose it situation. It has turned out well because Steve and Patti are joining us for a couple of days before the go to the cruise ships. We have Yearly Disney Passes (great for Florida Residences) so we will hit all of the parks and even go back for some fireworks in the evening. We are staying at the Visana Sheridan and the large two bedroom apartment is great. Today we pick up Steve and Patti and tomorrow I would suspect there will be some cribbage, some margaritas and some laying by the pool

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Visiting California and a Panama Canal Cruise

Well, we have booked our next cruise. It is a 15 day Panama Canal cruise from San Francisco to Ft. Lauderdale. We will be traveling by Southwest Airlines one way to San Jose to spend about a week with our Daughter and her family. Then we will be joined in San Francisco by some friends here that will be joining us on the cruise and of course when the time comes I will post a link here to our travel blog for that cruise. We booked our usual inside cabin and our friends booked a balcony so we will spend some quality time with a glass of wine on their patio. We booked on the Island Princess and will be our first time on this ship, so we are looking forward to it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Three Nights in New York City

We no longer got home and we were off on another adventure. We arrived home on Friday evening and the next Thursday we were off to spend a few days with Steve (my son) and his family. We then went into Manhattan where we had rooms at the Crown Plaza at Times Square. The best part of this Hotel was its location and the fact that three nights were free. Earlier this year on our first road trip, Holiday Inn had a promotion of stay two nights and get one free. Crown Plaza is part of the Holiday Inn Chain and we had earned the maximum of four nights and we booked them here. Pretty nice, $300 rooms for staying twice in $100 rooms. While in New York we went to the half price ticket booth and got tickets for "Blythe Spirit" starring Angela Lansbury and several other stars. We also got free tickets and went to a Late show with David Letterman taping. We spent one day doing a tour of New York, including an uptown, downtown and evening tour. We then went down the Jersey shore for the Wedding of Judy's Niece Kim and her Fiance Jose. The Wedding took place in a small chapel in one of the state parks and the reception on the shore. Our Congratulations to Kim and Jose. Now we are home for about another month before our next couple of adventures. We are spending a week close by in Orlando at a time share and then in September, out to visit Weston, Paige and Eric in California and then onto the Island Princess with some good friends for a 15 day cruise through the Panama Canal.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Summary of our Ultimate Road Trip 2009

To summarize this trip would put it into two parts. The first part was the beauty of the southwest. Sedona, Arizona is a very unique and colorful place with its red canyons and red rocks and the only place in the world where the arches at McDonalds are not gold. A local ordinance prohibits gold from being used as a color in downtown Sedona so the arches there are a shade of violet. Tombstone is very campy but a lot of fun and the locals go out of their way to make sure you have a great time. Yosemite has always been one of our favorites and we sure weren’t let down upon our return. It was nice to go back to the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and the Black Hills. The visits with kids and grandkids are always great. The new experiences included Door County, Upper Michigan and Frankenmuth. We loved Mackinac Island and were surprised at how many interesting things were available to see at the Henry Ford Museum. The Trip was great, I got to do it with my wife and best friend (both of them are Judy) and along with no car problems and using Jill (our GPS) a great time was had, and even though we have said that it will probably be our last long road trip, I guess I wouldn’t count on it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

National Parks

We have spent the last ten days or so going through Yosemite Park, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore. Our national parks are wonderful, beautiful and accessible. As a senior the best value for getting into the parks is a ten dollar lifetime senior pass. This pass lets everyone in the car enter all national parks. The views in Yosemite are amazing with waterfalls and majestic vistas. Of course the Tetons stand out in their snow covered peaks. Yellowstone with its wildlife makes you keep your eyes peeled at all times. Mount Rushmore with all of its viewing places upgraded is also enduring. Try the national parks and enjoy.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Two days in Sedona

We spent two days in Sedona and are now thinking of trading our timeshare for something there.  We loved the quaintness of the community, the great restaurants and the fantastic view.  First we had a good hotel, Sedona Inn and Suites where we met a wonderful concierge when we checked in and she pointed us to the things to see that afternoon.    We went to Cathedral park to get a good look at Cathedral Rock and spent sundown at the Sedona Airport with lots of people overlooking Sedona while the sun set.  The red rock formations in around Sedona are mesmerizing and I am sure we took at least 500 pictures over the two days.  We found several wonderful restaurants and of course Judy had to shop in the quaint shops for souvenirs. We will look forward to our next visit to Sedona with great enthusiasm.  

Friday, June 5, 2009

Four Days in Texas

Well, we are a week into our ultimate road trip for 2009 and we have already enjoyed the beaches of the Panhandle of Florida, the wonders of the French Quarter in New Orleans, but also four days in Texas.  Neither Judy or I had spent much time in the heart of Texas, but on this trip we did and really enjoyed it.  We visited with friends in Houston and went to the Battleship Texas, Visited the LBJ Library in Austin, which I believe is one of the best tourist values available, it was not only free but extremely interesting.  We visited the Alamo in San Antonio and extremely enjoyed the River Walk their as well.  We will be leaving Texas today heading for Tombstone, AZ, but will have wonderful memories of Texas and the friendly people we met there.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ultimate Road Trip 2009

Well, I think we have decided on a date to leave on our ultimate road trip for 2009. If things work our right we will be on our way either on Saturday or Sunday of this week. This trip will take us clockwise around the country including stops in New Orleans, San Antonio, Santa Fe, Sedona, Los Angeles, San Jose, Yellowstone, The Black Hills, Rochester, Door county in Wisconsin and several stops in Michigan before heading home in about six weeks. Who knows how many additional stops along the way because Judy always finds interesting places for us to visit. We are also looking forward to seeing grandchildren (Weston, Nicole and Christina) and family along the way. As usual we will take hundreds (maybe thousands) of pictures and we will post as many as we can. Again we are looking forward to this trip, and a planned long cruise in the fall (destination still up in the air) and a couple more fun things like a nieces wedding in July and a timeshare stay somewhere and a another trip to the West coast to see Weston at Christmas time. Whew, gonna be a busy few months.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Home and planning another road trip

We got home on Saturday,  and have been lazy the last couple of days but the planning has started for our next road trip.  This trip will last about 5 weeks, maybe more and take us from Florida through New Orleans, San Antonio, Santa Fe, Sedona, Los Angeles, San Jose, Yellowstone Park, Black Hills of South Dakota, Rochester, Minn., Door County in Wisconsin and through Upper Michigan and then Home.  We will see a Grandson in San Jose and Grandchildren in Rochester.  We know that there will be lots of unscheduled stop along the way, not sure what they will be yet, but do know we will find something interesting.  Judy uses Microsoft Streets and Trips to layout our tentative route, here is a link to it.  Microsoft Streets and Trips   As always we are very excited about getting back on the road again

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Churchill Downs

We know that the Derby was run last week, but definitely wanted to see Churchill Downs.  We found the place quite amazing and if you are not a bettor, a real value.  Free parking starts it all off with a  cart to take you to the main gate.  For Seniors entrance the fee is $1.  We bought a program for $2 and that is all we needed to spend, we did have some lunch which was reasonable and we did place three $2 bets of which one was a winner.  We were able to get up close and personal to the horses and jockeys both in the paddock and the winners circle.  We spent all day there and had a wonderful time.  On the day we were there it was very quiet and empty but we still had fun people watching and all inquires to the staff were met with quick and smiley response.  I would recommend Churchill Downs as a day trip anytime whether you gamble or not.